Michelle Malkin (“All the Wrong 9/11 Lessons”; bolds are mine throughout):
9/11 was a deliberate, carefully planned evil act of the long-waged war on the West by Koran-inspired soldiers of Allah around the world. They hated us before George W. Bush was in office. They hated us before Israel existed. And the avengers of the religion of perpetual outrage will keep hating us no matter how much we try to appease them.
The post-9/11 problem isn’t whether we’ll forget. The problem is: Will we ever learn?
Christopher Hitchens (“Simply Evil”):
… against the tendencies of euphemism and evasion, some stout simplicities deservedly remain. Among them: Holocaust denial is in fact a surreptitious form of Holocaust affirmation. The fatwa against Salman Rushdie was a direct and lethal challenge to free expression, not a clash between traditional faith and “free speech fundamentalism.” The mass murder in Bosnia-Herzegovina was not the random product of “ancient hatreds” but a deliberate plan to erase the Muslim population. The regimes of Saddam Hussein and Kim Jong Il and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad fully deserve to be called “evil.” And, 10 years ago in Manhattan and Washington and Shanksville, Pa., there was a direct confrontation with the totalitarian idea, expressed in its most vicious and unvarnished form.
Charles Krauthammer at Jewish World Review:
In the end: 10 years, no second attack (which everyone assumed would come within months). That testifies to the other great achievement of the decade: the defensive anti-terror apparatus hastily constructed from scratch after 9/11 by President Bush, and then continued by President Obama. Continued why? Because it worked. It kept us safe — the warrantless wiretaps, the Patriot Act, extraordinary rendition, preventive detention and, yes, Guantanamo.
… 9/11 was our Pearl Harbor. This time, however, the enemy had no home address. No Tokyo. Which is why today’s war could not be wrapped up in a mere four years. It was unconventional war by an unconventional enemy embedded within a worldwide religious community. Yet in a decade, we largely disarmed and defeated it, and developed the means to continue to pursue its remnants at rapidly decreasing cost. That is a historic achievement.
Phyllis Chesler at Pajamas Media:
The Islamic/Islamist war against the West is not over. Whether America pulls out of Iraq and Afghanistan or stops targeted assassinations or not, we are in this for the long haul. Pretending that Islam is not the problem will not keep us or democracy safe nor will pretending that Muslim jihadists do not exist, are primarily innocent, or are our natural “peace partners.” Americans are not guilty of “Islamophobia.” According to the FBI, post-9/11, hate crimes against American Jews, not against American Muslims, increased alarmingly.
Reaching out to Muslims is indeed important — if they are willing to tolerate rather than persecute and attack infidel religions and infidel values. Reaching out to home-grown or foreign-born suicide bomber jihadists who present themselves as “moderate” preachers of peace will only endanger us.
Sadly, people who should know better are doing far too much of the latter.
Michael Ledeen at Pajamas Media:
America is the one truly revolutionary country on earth, because Americans are willing to fight for our freedoms. Like al-Qaeda, our enemies do not get this, because they cannot imagine the incredible power of free people uniting to defend themselves. Osama bin Laden believed that 9/11 would bring us down, but instead it took us to a war that defeated him and his Syrian and Iranian allies in Iraq, and has reversed the gains of the Taliban in Afghanistan.
It’s not smart to challenge Americans. We love that. Yeah, we’re very slow to get on with it, and yeah, we get tired and forget our mission every so often, and yeah, we make mistakes choosing our leaders. But when we do get on with it, it’s awesome.
Just ask our kids.
Two of Mr. Ledeen’s children are Marines. The third worked for the Department of Defense in Iraq as a civilian. I thank them for their service.
Roger Simon at Pajamas Media:
… this Islamic (terrorist) ideology has a major advantage in durability over the totalitarian ideologies that pervaded the twentieth century — Nazism and communism. It promises eternal life. There is no easy way to disprove that.
The bad news is that no one currently reading this article is likely to see the resolution of this struggle. The good news is that some of us are now awake –even if made so in the most brutal manner ten years ago.
Yes, many of those awakened at that time have gone back to sleep, but let’s take a minute to applaud those who have not. This is not meant to be an applause of self-congratulation, but one of encouragement. We must continue.
Andrew Klavan at City Journal, on Hollywood’s post-9/11 product:
… when it comes to sheer shamefulness, the conformist “radicals” of Hollywood outdid themselves in the years after the Islamofascist attacks on 9/11.
… (Almost all of the related) films were bad and they were bombs, showingthat ideology, not art or commerce, dictated their content. It was the dark mirror image of Hollywood’s patriotic response to Pearl Harbor in the 1940s, a living diagram of what the Left has wrought in our cultural lives since then.
… When America really needed them, our filmmakers betrayed her. Andbecause their unpatriotic products were made while our troops were under fire in the field, they constitute, when considered together, an unprecedentedly wicked action by an industry that rose to success and power through celebrating the nation and values that it now mindlessly attacks.
… most of our creative types have failed to formulate a forthright response to the ongoing Islamist threat—the dual threat of open violence and Sharia imperialism. That response requires the death of nonsensical relativism and the rebirth of foundational values. Post-postmodern intellectuals need to understand that, just as the grand and reasoned structure of mathematics stands on the rock of unshakeable axioms, so the cathedral of human morality is built on certain truths. These truths that we hold to be self-evident—that people are endowed not by governments but by their Creator with equal rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness—are not good for some people sometimes but for all people eternally. As such, they are not only a humane basis for opposition to Islamism, but the very stuff and soul of art.
Rich Lowry at Jewish World Review:
Why did Jay Jonas and his unit in the North Tower of the World Trade Center, evacuating as it was on the verge of collapse, stop to carry out a distressed woman even though it slowed their escape? Why did a band of passengers on Flight 93 storm the cockpit of their hijacked plane? Why did Jason Dunham, Ross McGinnis and Michael Monsoor — all Medal of Honor winners from the Iraq War — throw themselves on grenades to save their comrades?
Ask a firefighter such a question and he’s liable to answer, “That’s just what we do.” What we do, in turn, is express our astonishment and gratitude.
Victor Davis Hanson at City Journal (“The Ripples of 9/11″):
Conventional wisdom following 9/11 insisted that we would soon find bin Laden but that his insidious terror gang would probably remain a permanent existential threat that could repeat the September attack almost whenever it wished. A near-decade after the fall of the Twin Towers, bin Laden was finally killed by the United States, right under the nose of his Pakistani hosts. His radical Islamic terrorist organization is in disarray, without popular support, without the old covert subsidies from the oil sheikdoms, and without the infrastructure and networks that it would need to repeat its 9/11 attacks. The old post-9/11 warning of “not if, but when”—referring to the inevitability of more terrorism here—has not panned out so far, mostly because of heightened security at home and the projection of U.S. force abroad.
… even after a decade of acrimony, partisan rancor, and stasis, Americans continue to be horrified—and angry—over those who were murdered on September 11.
I wish I could agree with Hanson’s final assertion that “We’ve done our best for ten years to ensure that it cannot happen again.” I can’t. We’ve done well within the insufferable bonds of political correctness, but the bonds are still there (ask Amy Alkon), wasting our limited law enforcement and terror-prevention resources, and needlessly endangering ourselves.
Diana West at Jewish World Review pinpoints the problem, and the challenge:
Thank you, America, for the golden age of Islam
It is something to have gone 10 years without an Islamic attack of similarly gigantic proportions to those of Sept. 11, 2001, but it is not enough. That’s because the decade we look back on is marked by a specifically Islamic brand of security from jihad. It was a security bought by the Bush and Obama administrations’ policies of appeasement based in apology for, and irrational denial of, Islam’s war doctrine, its anti-liberty laws and its non-Western customs. As a result of this policy of appeasement — submission — we now stand poised on the brink of a golden age.
Tragically for freedom of speech, conscience and equality before the law, however, it is an Islamic golden age. It’s not just the post-9/11 rush into Western society of Islamic tenets and traditions on everything from law to finance to diet that has heralded this golden age, although that’s part of it. More important is the fact that our central institutions have actively primed themselves for it, having absorbed and implemented the central codes of Islam in the years since the 9/11 attacks, exactly as the jihadists hoped and schemed.
… The air has cleared, but the appeasement and the Islamization go on. Thus, a golden age begins, but unless we throw off this mental yoke of submission, it cannot be our own.